By Tony Attwood
We have of late looked at the current Premier League table from various points of view – for example comparing what teams that have been top of the table after 14 games in recent years have achieved. The question is, has this season so far been different from most, or have Arsenal really shown title-winning form?
This investigation has shown that in terms of the teams at the top of the league this is not a particularly unusual season. Arsenal if anything are doing a little better than the average top-of-the-league team was doing after 14 games.
However, we have not looked at the situation the other way around; considering where teams that won the league were after 14 games. The question then becomes are Arsenal performing in a similar way to other teams who have won the league. Thus in each case we have taken the team that won the league at the end of the season and looked at where it stood after 14 games.
Thus the team selected in the table below is the team that has won the league (except of course for this season for which we are waiting for the fortune-telling lady to return to the office) and the figures are for that team after the first 14 games.
The eventual league winners obviously had a wide range of results by the 14 game mark, ranging from 26 to 40 points. But there are some regular patterns we may note.
In previous seasons we have had the team that were second after 14 games go on to win the league twice. Also the team that was third after 14 games won the league once, as did the team that were fifth after 14 games.
Arsenal currently have 37 points, and only three of the teams who have won the league in the past ten years have had more points after 14 games. Liverpool and Manchester City have had 40 points by this stage, and Manchester City once had 38 points after 14 games before going on to win the league.
Only three teams that went on to win the league had scored more goals than Arsenal have this season and only three teams have conceded fewer than Arsenal have by this point in the season. Only twice has the goal difference for the league-winning team been better than Arsenal’s at this stage of the season.
So any thoughts that this is somehow an easy season, or a season where everyone else is drawing with each other and Arsenal are sneaking through by default (as I heard suggested in the pub) simply doesn’t live up to the facts.
In six of the past ten seasons, the team that eventually won the league was top of the league after 14 games. In nine of the seasons the club that ultimately won the league was first, second or third after 14 games (which is encouraging because while the whole of the mainstream media predicted Arsenal to come in fifth this season, we went for third). The one exception was Manchester City in 2020/21 although the table shows a win of their game in hand over the clubs around them would have taken them above Everton and just two points behind Liverpool
In the oddity season was 2020/21 Manchester City won 15 consecutive league games from 9 December 2020 through to 2 March which is how they made it to the top. Five of those games were won by a single goal, showing how close the margins can be. Only Premier League games are shown in the table below
|9 Dec 2020||Southampton v Manchester City||W||0-1|
|26 Dec 2020||Manchester City v Newcastle United||W||2-0|
|03 Jan 2021||Chelsea v Manchester City||W||1-3|
|13 Jan 2021||Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion||W||1-0|
|17 Jan 2021||Manchester City v Crystal Palace||W||4-0|
|20 Jan 2021||Manchester City v Aston Villa||W||2-0|
|26 Jan 2021||West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City||W||0-5|
|30 Jan 2021||Manchester City v Sheffield United||W||1-0|
|03 Feb 2021||Burnley v Manchester City||W||0-2|
|07 Feb 2021||Liverpool v Manchester City||W||1-4|
|13 Feb 2021||Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur||W||3-0|
|17 Feb 2021||Everton v Manchester City||W||1-3|
|21 Feb 2021||Arsenal v Manchester City||W||0-1|
|27 Feb 2021||Manchester City v West Ham United||W||2-1|
|02 Mar 2021||Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers||W||4-1|
So yes the odds are very much in our favour, but it is possible for Manchester City to put in a spurt and make up that difference.
But what of another club rising up to overtake Arsenal? We’ll have a look at that in a future piece.
Will Arsenal win the league this season?
- The simple statistic that shows that Arsenal are on course to win the league
- Are Arsenal really playing like a title winning team in attack and defence?
- Arsenal’s 25 man squad, and how it will accomodate the under 21s as they move up.
- Uefa increasing looking weak as European clubs propose completely new approach
- The Premier League action against Man City brings Super League ever closer
- What Europe knows about Man C but the English press haven’t told you
- Arsenal v Manchester City Women’s Continental League Cup semi-final – match preview
- How Man City’s problems began to arise…. nine years ago